Leeds Castle, yesterday, just before we started the second jousting tournament of the day. My, how we laughed.
The jousting tournament continues at Leeds Castle this week, and each and everyday so far the weather forecast has been pretty dire. On the Thursday I travelled up from Folkestone (where I am being cared for and cossetted by Michelle Coda, her chap Matt and her daughter Vix) to the Castle and was delighted to find myself arriving in bright sunshine. The main car parks seemed full and there were a lot of punters around which all seemed to auger well for a fine days jousting. The jousters all seemed in fine form and we prepared ourselves for the two shows to come.
The first show began pretty well - a nice big turn out, but as the show unfolded, so the clouds rolled out over head and a few big spots of rain appeared. These were then soon followed by several more large spots of rain, and then some more. And then, the heavens opened. We continued and finished the show (professionals that we are) but I cursed my lack of water wings on the return to the tent where we can hide from the public while we eat. Inside the tent we could hear the rain hammering on the plastic roof, and the hammering continued and got louder and louder. A quick peak outside confirmed our worst fears as there was barely a punter in sight. By the time of our scheduled 2.30pm second show, the tempest had barely abated, but there were some hardy fans around the periphery of the arena, and Jeremy from the Knights of Royal England wandered over and told them we would attempt to put on a show at 3pm instead. Twenty minutes later it was still lashing it down and the ground was too soft for the horses to go on safely, so reluctantly it was decided to cancel the second show. So I returned home early to Folkestone, and took to hair drying my costume to stop the fur from being so damp and manky. Matt took my Henry dagger and gave it a much needed and long overdue once over to remove some of the rust and grime on it. It now looks fabulous!
Friday was me, Michelle and young Vix heading up to the Castle - this would give Michelle a fine opportunity to show off her new specially made Tudor frock, and she looked fabulous. The lovely Emma Fuery from the Tudor Roses was also there in attendance, and it was good to have Sir William of Antioch back in the fold after he took a day off to play golf - sub aqua probably. The day started badly when we had only been there for about 40 minutes when Michelle managed to lock her keys in her car. Luckily Darlene Cavill from Leeds Castle was on hand and we borrowed her mobile to call the AA, and they hurriedly sent someone down to unlock the car for us. This had to be done as Michelle had left our picnic in the boot. We got through the two shows today, there was a little rain, but nothing like the diluvian-like downpour of the previous day, but we had to contend with very high winds throughout which made it a bit tricky for the riders in the middle.
And so we come to the final weekend, I am back at the Castle on both Saturday and Sunday with Michelle and Vix in tow, Lady Emma from the Tudor Roses will be there as well, so all in all, weather permitting, it should be good fun. We are promised nice weather for the Saturday, but Sunday is looking somewhat Biblical. So hold on to your hats and make room in the lifeboat if needed.